white kitchen windows by hood marble backsplash

Before and After Timberline Project Reveal

Today I’m really excited to share with you a project I recently completed. It was one of the most challenging I’ve undertaken thus far – an entire first floor remodel at the same time. But, it was also incredibly rewarding because my style and the clients’ were so in sync. They were heavily involved in the design and selection of materials, and the project was a true collaboration between us as well as the contractor and vendors.

The Plan

As you’ll see in the “before” photos below, the aesthetic of the home didn’t work for my clients and their two small children at all. But, before we could update the look of their house, we had to address some issues with its plan and functionality.

Before Floor Plan

The whole project really started as a kitchen remodel, but as you know, in an open plan house, a kitchen remodel isn’t just a kitchen remodel. Once we started working on the kitchen, we had to address all the spaces it touched. Before the project was over, we had done something – large or small – to every room on the first floor.

Keep reading for a look at each space and how we made it work for our clients’ lifestyle.

Proposed Floor Plan

The Kitchen

As I mentioned, improving the kitchen was at the heart of this project. The old plan was cramped – a U-shaped design with a raised bar height peninsula. The fridge location impeded the circulation from the garage and basement. With one tiny window over the sink, it didn’t get very much natural light.

The short wall cabinets failed to maximize the potential storage. And, the transition from wood flooring to tile was just weird and chopped up the space visually.

Kitchen Before
Kitchen Before

We removed the pantry so that we could extend the kitchen, move the refrigerator, and create a large island for the sink, dishwasher, trash, and microwave.

My clients wanted to bring in a ton of natural light, and I can’t say I blamed them. They have a beautiful wooded view, and the old kitchen felt totally disconnected from the outdoors.

We added two large windows flanking the range and placed the sills at counter height. We removed the old French door to create a banquette and added three more large windows above it.

In the pass-through to the dining room, we moved a base and wall cabinet in favor of a tall pantry cabinet. It looks more attractive from the dining room and replaces the storage they lost by removing the walk-in pantry.

L-Shaped Kitchen Plan with Island and Banquette

Now for the after photos!

When I look at the before and after, it’s really hard for me to believe this is the same house.

des moines kitchen remodel interior designer Jillian Lare

The white oak floors are the largest material element on the main level and were our starting point for many of our other material selections.

We chose a creamy white for the kitchen perimeter and a pale warm gray for the island. We incorporated touches of black throughout the entire first floor to keep the design from feeling too traditional. I love the contrast and little bit of edginess that it adds.

white kitchen white oak floors

The countertops are a marble looking white quartz by Caesarstone, and the backsplash is a tumbled Carrara marble. My clients picked through double the number of boxes that we needed, selecting each tile by hand to make sure the backsplash didn’t end up too gray.

white kitchen windows by hood marble backsplash
Dining Nook Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

The banquette is a cozy spot for this family of four to eat their daily meals or enjoy a cup of coffee.

The Laundry/Mud Room

Is it weird that the laundry room is my favorite room in this whole project? When I first saw it, the room was totally non-functional with a too small closet taking up far too much of the floor space.

Like many families, my clients enter their home through the garage door the majority of the time. Before the remodel, they had nowhere to drop bags, take off shoes, or hang coats.

I knew that if we could maximize the tiny laundry to incorporate a “mudroom” of sorts by building custom lockers, it would add so much functionality. And, hopefully make the start and end of every day that much smoother and easier.

This is really the only photo I look of the laundry room because it was so tight. The entry from the garage is on the right, and the pantry that we removed is on the left. You can see the coat closet straight ahead.

To make the space as open and functional as possible, we removed the closet and switched the swinging door to a pocket door. We relocated the sink to the right of the washer and dryer, freeing up an entire wall for lockers. And, we made the window bigger to match the new windows in the kitchen and bring in more light.

des moines iowa laundry room remodel interior designer Jillian Lare

For the cabinetry and trim, we used the same pale gray as the kitchen cabinetry. We use the white trim color from the rest of the home on the walls and ceilings and brought in black with the hardware.

We repeated the white oak from the flooring in the kitchen on the shelving and bench tops and brought in the same quartz for the tops and same marble backsplash. The floor is a brick look ceramic tile set in a herringbone pattern.

des moines iowa mudroom lockers interior designer Jillian Lare

We were very intentional about creating flow throughout the home by repeating design details as well as materials. We used a vertical paneling detail on the back of the island and repeated it on the back of the mudroom built-ins. You’ll see it make another appearance on the vaulted ceiling of the sun room.

des moines iowa mudroom lockers interior designer Jillian Lare

I love how this laundry room proves that you don’t necessarily need more space to add storage and function to your home.

The Living Room

As you can see on the floor plans, the living room is completely open to the kitchen, so we needed to address the design of it at the same time.

When I first visited the home, I immediately noticed how large the fireplace felt in proportion to the room. It was completely out of scale.

We removed the wainscot paneling in favor of a neutral stacked stone with a limestone mantel. By using a new linear gas insert, we were able to reduce the overall depth of the fireplace even more. Eliminating the hearth freed up even more floor space.

transitional living room stacked stone fireplace

We made one other architectural change in the living room. We took out the French doors to the sun room, raised the header, and created a large cased opening. This seemingly insignificant change dramatically improved the circulation through the two spaces and opened up floor space for furniture in the sun room. 

transitional living room stacked stone fireplace

The Sun Room

The sun room sits at the back of the house and has large windows that provide an excellent views to the back of their lot which is semi-wooded. In the Fall, the view out of these windows was incredible with the orange and red foliage.

But, the room itself was totally lacking in character. In addition, the large sliding doors to the deck made it difficult to use this room for TV viewing, which is its primary function.

Sun Room Before

We added much needed architectural character on the ceiling with a ridge beam and car siding, painted the same creamy white as the trim work throughout.

By taking out the sliding door in favor of a single glass paned door, we created the wall space for a flat screen TV and media center to hold books and toys.

The matching sofas are upholstered in a kid and pet friendly performance fabric, and the large leather ottoman is perfect for putting up feet but can also serve as extra seating when entertaining large groups.

sun room gray sofa leather ottoman

The Powder Room

I don’t have any before photos of the powder room, which was previously not a powder room but a full bathroom on a first floor with no bedrooms. Both the clients and myself thought that was strange and not necessary, so we removed the tub/shower.

We used the extra space for 14″ deep tall cabinets that can be used as storage for both extra toiletries but also all the miscellaneous items that are usually kept in extra kitchen or laundry cabinetry.

furniture style powder room vanity white oak marble countertop

We designed this furniture style vanity with operable drawers and an open shelf below. We hand selected a gorgeous piece of natural marble for the top and backsplash. The floor is a tumbled black marble hex mosaic that pulls out the deep gray veining in the countertop.

furniture style powder room vanity white oak marble countertop
powder room storage ideas black hex tile floor

The Dining Room, Entry, & Piano Room

Last but not least, we made over the front of the house in varying degrees. The outdated design of the staircase got a total update. In the entryway, we removed the two arches. The one shown on the left is to the dining room and had large bulky columns below. We took those out in favor of a large cased opening like the one living room but preserved the wainscot and coffered ceiling

It didn’t take much beyond a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, and a new rug to give this dining room a completely new look. We worked with our clients existing furniture, which now looks like new in its fresh surroundings.

dining room coffered ceiling modern gold chandelier
dining room coffered ceiling modern gold chandelier

Originally, we wanted to open up the stairs as much as possible, but it wasn’t feasible structurally. We were able to increase the opening on the railing side by two steps, which really helped make them feel lighter.

We installed new solid white oak treads to match the floors, black iron balusters, and a white oak railing. The runner is natural wool in a soft gray.

Finally, we updated the piano room with a new rug and light fixture. We replaced the dated French doors with clear glass panes and upgrade the door hardware to match the rest of the doors in the home. Not pictured, we also replaced the front door and light fixture in the entryway.

black baby grand piano room paneled walls benjamin moore oc-17 white dove

As I turned to close the front door after wrapping up the photoshoot at the end of a long day, I turned back and was struck by the light streaming in from the new windows. I captured this quick photo below with my iPhone, and I love how it shows how the relationship of the spaces to each other. 

One of our top goals for this remodel was to lighten up the space both literally and through the use of color and material. I’m happy to say that we rose the to challenge. This is absolutely one of my favorite projects to date.

No design project is possible without the support and collaboration of multiple team members, but especially so for a project of this size. We could never have achieved such a fabulous result without Ben Kellen of Hickory Construction in Ames, Sarah Wolfgang from Cabinet Boutique, and StoneHouse, Urbandale.

Olson-Larsen Gallery generously provided all of the artwork seen throughout.

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64 thoughts on “Before and After Timberline Project Reveal

  1. Jillian ~

    This is impeccable design in every aspect. I can’t get over how well thought through every detail is, and how gorgeous it all looks, compared to the before.

    It is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of how hiring a knowledgeable designer can make the biggest difference in how a family can elevate the way they experience their life in their home.

    And if your clients are seeing my comment here, Jillian, I want to say:

    Your home is truly stunning, and the collaborative aspect to it all is such a beautiful thing to read about and witness.

    1. Leslie, your comments are always so sweet. Thank you!!

  2. What an absolutely beautiful result!

    1. Thank you, Christina!

    2. I love it, great job !

      1. Thank you!

  3. Absolutely beautiful result!

  4. WOW!! What a stunning transformation in EVERY SINGLE ROOM! The kitchen is incredible. Wonderful job!

    1. Thank you, Mary Ann! I have serious kitchen envy after this project.

      1. Can you send me a link to the backsplash?

  5. This is breathtaking! The difference in how those spaces feel before and after is tangible even in the photographs!

    1. Thanks so much, Megan! Your home is up next!

  6. Jillian,
    What an incredible job you did!! I can only imagine how happy your clients are!! Every idea, every detail is outstanding!!

    1. Thank you so much, LuAnn!

  7. Wow!! What an amazing transformation. You have created such peaceful, beautiful and functional living spaces. Loving the colors! Do you mind sharing the warm gray paint of cabinets and where you found the powder bath mirror?

    1. Thanks, Jenny! The color on the island and in the powder room is Sherwin-Williams Popular Gray. I believe we ordered the powder room mirror from Shades of Light.

  8. Whoa Nellie. What an incredible project, start to finish! The bathroom on the first floor jumped out from the plans as an oddity. What a gorgeous transformation to powder room. Every aspect of the project so well conceived and realized. I love your repetition of color and design details to achieve such great flow and harmony throughout this house.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeri! Yes, that bathroom was totally weird. I wish I had photos, but it was the most basic boring hall bath ever complete with fiberglass shower surround. It made no sense at all.

  9. Wow, that is a completely different space! It is beautiful.

    1. Thank you!

  10. Gorgeous! What a fabulous result – so light and airy. Could you share the paint colors you used for the walls and trim?

    1. The main wall color is BM Classic Gray and the trim is BM White Dove throughout. Thank you!

  11. Whoa! Stunning and that slider is EVERYTHING!!!?

    1. Thank you, Darla! I love the sliders!

  12. STUNNING result, Jillian! Impeccable design in every single way. The before and after pictures tell the story so well of how you completely achieved your goal of creating spaces that were lighter and brighter. And I am sure your clients are thrilled with the result and with their very smart decision to hire you!

    1. Thank you so much, Janet!

  13. Jillian, this is absolutley stunning! What a journey you took us on of this project. I love everything about how you transformed this home for your clients. Love, love, love it!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It definitely was a journey.

  14. Was so happy to see your work again Jillian. Reminded me of why you are the only designer I follow! Just beautiful work here, love how thoughtful you were in conceiving this remodel, and how you worked with the existing space and brought it from dated to current, but still timeless. Wow.

    You’ve shared all the details very well, and I too love those sliders! Still see a book in the future for you. Really appreciate how you explain the design process.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely project, all amazing but I think my favourite pic is the last one you snapped with your phone. It just captures the feel of this inviting home beautifully.

    1. Thank you, Beth! That’s so sweet of you!

  15. This is beautiful! I was wandering about your wall color Classic Gray. Did you lighten the color at all or is it the original formula! I’m going to use this in color in my whole house would love if you could share!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! We just used the Classic Gray as is. We didn’t lighten it at all. It’s a very subtle difference from the white trim in rooms with good natural light. It’s a little bit warmer, which I prefer.

  16. All I can utter after seeing the transformation is “wow!” Thanks for sharing this beautiful outcome with your readers. Are the perimeter kitchen cabinets White Dove or a different color from the trim? And is the floor real white oak hardwood or laminate?

    1. Hi Marian, they were a stock color from the cabinet company, and the white is a little brighter than White Dove. The floors are engineered white oak.

  17. This is stunning!! I absolutely LOVE the backsplash, but am having trouble finding a similar look when I search for the tumbled Carrara marble tiles. Would you mind sending a link or company you used? Thank you! Love the design!

    1. Hi Jen, thank you so much! We sourced that tile from The Tile Shop.

      1. Hi Jillian,

        I have just renovated my kitchen and am struggling over backsplash. It has been so hard to find the perfect one but I just LOVE this one pictured in your new kitchen, it is beautiful!

        Having trouble finding it on The Tile Shop. I found this one (https://www.tileshop.com/products/hampton-carrara-tumbled-amalfi-marble-mosaic-tile-2-x-4-in-658891), but it looks more brown than the one pictured. I have white marble countertops with hints of grey so trying to keep to that pallet.

        If you could share the item number, link and dimensions of the ones you got I would be so grateful!

        Thank you in advance,

        1. Hi Alexandra, I don’t have that info readily available to share, but I can tell you that it’s not a mosaic and it didn’t have any browns in it, when we bought it. It did have a lot of gray, and I think I mentioned in the post that the client hand picked every tile.

  18. This is all beautiful! Can I ask why you chose to put the fridge where it is vs switching the fridge and the range? We are about to start our kitchen remodel and have an almost exact size and (before) layout, doorway, etc. Our GC is recommending the fridge go on the wall where your range and hood are. I love how your layout looks, just curious what drove your choice to place it where it is. Thanks!

    1. Hi Anne, in our case, we wanted to add windows to that wall and maximize counter space. My client had seen photos of kitchens with the range between two windows and really wanted that look. If we had put the fridge on that wall, the kitchen would have felt more closed off to the rest of the room as well. Also, we didn’t have enough space on the wall where the fridge is to do a 36″ range and have countertop to the right.

  19. Hi Jillian! Love your design style! I’m the process of building a new house and love the hardwood you chose! What stain did you do for the white oak? I’m looking at one that’s bourbon on European white oak and not sure if its going to be too dark. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nirali, thank you! This was an engineered product so it came with that finish. It was pretty light but not the lightest I’ve seen.

  20. This is so beautiful! Can you tell me the color name for the Carrera marble tile backsplash? And the color of the quartz countertops? Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you! The backsplash was from the Tile Shop and I don’t remember the name off the top of my head. The countertops are Caesarstone Statuario Maximum.

  21. The house is absolutely gorgeous!!! I have 2 questions:
    – Where did you get the runner from? I love it!!!
    – In the kitchen, above the windows is there a trim/ molding above the backsplash? Or does it flow into the ceiling.

    Thanks so much!!!

    1. Thank you! I believe the runner was from Pier One. Dash and Albert might sell something similar. The backsplash does flow into the ceiling.

  22. I was wondering where you got the stove hood vent? You did a beautiful job with this remodel!

    1. Thank you so much! We custom designed it to be built on site. Pretty typical for this type of hood.

  23. What material is the range hood?

  24. What a beautiful remodel! Thank you for sharing so many photos. I love the drum pendant in the breakfast nook. Is it possible to share the manufacturer?

  25. What type of range/cooktop is that?

    1. I believe it’s a KitchenAid

  26. Love this! Can you please advise where the brick look tile in laundry room is from? Thanks!

    1. Hi Christine, I believe it’s by Emil Ceramica. Thank you!

  27. Thank you for including FLOORPLANS with measurements! I’m looking at doing a remodel on my kitchen with a similar layout “before”. U-shaped kitchen from the 1980s. It’s functional but not beautiful. Unfortunately, my exterior is brick so I’m not sure I’d be able to change my window placement. 🙁 But I love what you did and this gives me so much inspiration for my remodel!

    1. Thank you so much! Good luck with your project!

  28. I’m speechless. Everything looks beautiful 😍 I love it. Can you please tell me the paint color you use ? Thanks

    1. Hi Lindsay, thanks so much! The wall paint is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray.

  29. Could you please tell me the exact flooring used in this remodel? Thank you! : )

  30. Every space is beautiful! Could you please tell me what the paint color is on the cabinets in the laundry room? Thank you!

    1. Thanks! It’s Sherwin-Williams Popular Gray.

  31. My husband fell in love with the drum pendant in the kitchen nook. Usually doesn’t have much opinion on these things so I was determined to try and find it. I know this is from two years ago and it’s probably not available anymore, but can you share the manufacturer? I am looking for something similar. Thank you!

    This is the most stunning remodel I’ve ever seen and I have been pouring over them for ages. We are remodeling our condo and used classic gray throughout! Absolutely love it. You really knocked it out of the park!

    1. Thank you so much! It was from Circa but I don’t see it on their website now. 🙁

  32. Everything looks very nice and light. It’s like the sun was added to the rooms) It would be interesting to see photos of the old bathroom, but in any case, the powder room also looks very fresh and at the same time simple.

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Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer

About Jillian

Welcome! I’m a Des Moines based interior designer, boy mom to one, avid reader and always aspiring artist. I started this blog when I moved to Iowa in 2008. Currently, I write about life in Iowa, personal development, and my creative journey.

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